"Bias Detectives: the researchers striving to make algorithms fair" – CSDA’s work in Nature news

July 3, 2018

In late June, an in-depth article and podcast about the CSDA’s work on the Allegheny Family Screening Tool were featured on the Nature news website.

As a predictive risk model, the AFST generates a screening score for calls alleging child maltreatment that are made to the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.  The tool was developed by an international research team led by the CSDA’s co-director, Rhema Vaithianathan.

In the article Rachel Courtland argues that the future of predictive risk models depends on transparency, and commends Allegheny County’s approach.

“There is a large appetite for more transparency, along the lines adopted by Allegheny, which has engaged with stakeholders and opened its doors to journalists.”

Vaithianathan argues that transparency is an important way of building public understanding: “Algorithms can’t be helicopter-dropped into these complex systems… [But] if you can’t be right, be honest.”

Read the Nature article and listen to the podcast